Not really knowing what the size of your SD6109C actually is, I can only guess that seeing as how that it also has a built in DVD player, that it is probably about the same size of a good stand alone receiver. And in your case of looking for something of $1000 or less, you have a lot of good ones to choose from. Because Denon, Onkyo and Pioneer are just now releasing a bunch of new models, and with quite a few in that price range. And Yamaha should be not too far behind them, so there should be some news in the future for their new products also. As for the AM/FM, you are more or less going to get that no matter if you want it or not, because that is a standard feature of a receiver. Also as for what a pre-pro is, it is a surround processor/pre-amplifier, and it is what you also need if you have a true amplifier only. A true amplifier only, will also have no way to switch inputs or process surround sound, so it also needs the pre-pro or a receiver with pre-outs to do those functions. Either of which can also be what a lot of people are referring to when they say "separates".
But now that we have determined that you are not really looking for a amplifier only, and are looking for a receiver that will offer good HDMI support for either your future Blu-Ray or HD-DVD players. I suggest you start looking at maybe the following. Denon AVR-2308, Denon AVR-2808, Onkyo TX-SR605, Onkyo TX-SR805, and the Pioneer VSX-91TXH. These are models that you can actually buy now, or in a few cases, pre-order now for a purchase/delivery very soon. Here are a few links that will give you a brief rundowns on the new Denon and the Onkyo receivers, and also the Pioneer.http://crave.cnet.com/8301-1_105-9749863-1.htmlhttp://crave.cnet.com/8301-1_105-9712132-1.htmlhttp://gizmodo.com/gadgets/catching-...ain-262587.php